AMBULANCE staff facing a third year of pay freezes have hit out after it was revealed that three senior managers have been given wage rises of up to 20per cent.

Four senior managers at the North West Ambulance Service have been moved up the NHS pay band scale following a restructure – while the trust is looking for sav-ings of around £16million.

It comes just days after the Lanc- ashire Telegraph revealed that bosses at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust were to receive whopping salary rises, while staff endured another year of pay freezes.

Steve Rice, branch secretary for the GMB union for the ambulance service, said: “Paramedics have been waiting seven years for their roles to be re-evaluated. Yet it seems a group of managers can get an uplift in pay with a nod of the head, without going through the proper channels.

“There is a lot of anger from staff on the road who are looking at their third year of a pay freeze, and an increased demand for services, with no plans to put extra resources in place. There is no issue with people being paid what the job is worth. The gripe is the proper procedures were not followed, and the national job eval- uation programme, which every job in the NHS since 2004 has gone through, was not adhered to.”

Tony Hayes, regional officer for UNITE, said: “NWAS staff are absolutely furious about this, as are the unions. This is totally unacceptable on two levels.First-ly, we are all being asked to tighten our belts, yet some people are being given 20per cent pay rises. Secondly, all pay band increases have to go through Agenda for Change pay review panels, which affect every level of the NHS – so why didn’t these?

Bob Williams, acting chief exec-utive for NWAS, said: “Due to operational requirements, the trust recognised a need to restr-ucture the roles carried out by four heads of service throughout the region. It was agreed at the trust board that the positions should be reduced from four posts to three, but the three remaining posts would include increased responsibilities and accountab-ility.

“Like all organisat-ions, the trust has to restructure and reor-ganise from time to time, and if roles exp-and, then people need to be recompensed for that.”